Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to understand how focusing works in Manual mode in my D90. I switched off the autofocus buttons in the Kit lens and the camera body. I have changed to the manual mode. Now, when I try to focus on any specific object, I do not see any specific focus point being highlighted when I press the shutter button halfway. All the focus points on the view finders lights up in red and camera clicks immediately after pressing the shutter button fully.

I want to know why I am not able to focus on any specific object. For example, if I want to focus on the nearer object, so that the background is little blurred, then I dont seem to be able to do this. (I want to achive the 'Bokeh' effect)

share|improve this question
I'm confused. In manual focus mode, you do the focusing. If you want to focus on a near object, turn the focus ring on a lens until it is in focus. What are you expecting to happen? (Is your question about how the focus indicator lights work while in manual focus mode?) – mattdm Jan 22 '12 at 12:58
For a question on how to achieve this effect in general, see this. But I think you're asking something different from that.... – mattdm Jan 22 '12 at 15:35

If all the focus points are lighting up it's probably that all parts of the image are within the tolerance for the camera to consider them in focus. This is often the case with wide angle lenses and subjects of moderate distance from the camera. Essentially your depth of field is too large to be able to see clearly the difference between the in focus and out of focus parts of your image.

Achieving selective focus has been the subject of many questions here, but the short answer is to try:

  • focus on a really close subject
  • use the longest possible focal length (and shoot at the widest aperture)
  • use a really fast prime lens
  • use a full frame (35mm sensor) DSLR

in that exact order.

share|improve this answer
don't forget 'use the manual focus ring' ! ;-) – Andrew Heath Jan 22 '12 at 13:20

keep the aperture as large as possible(low f-stop number) and then turning the focus ring to see the focus effect,,

Focus the front subject sharply and this will throw the background into a nice bokeh depending on your lens blades,,

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.